It bears repeating: the kids are gonna save us all. Let’s give them the tools—and arts—to do so…and then get the heck out of their way.
Show me a kid who’s never built their own self-named town and I’ll show you a kid who’s never played with blocks. Well, now they’ve got their chance to decide who and what gets memorialized: May’s Family Day at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art is called Making Monuments, and gives kids the chance to think about the important things in their world and how to best express those through art. What would their public monuments and sculptures look like and who would it be for? This free, all materials provided event is hosted by guest artist Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, a visual artist and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Contemporary Practices at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Aren’t you curious to see if you made the cut for your kid’s town square?
1-4 p.m., May 5; The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Ave., Chicago
This is what an arts education in one of the world’s greatest cities looks like. Manifest, an urban arts celebration, showcases the best of Columbia College’s best, with fashion shows, original game design, gallery exhibitions and live performances. Manifest’s vibrant South Loop location is a pretty perfect spot to showcase the diversity of the city, these students and their talents, and the festival is open to the community—especially kids who are taking notes and waiting their turn.
May 11, Columbia College Chicago, 600 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Zines are, by nature, edgier and more subversive than your traditional print medium. That said, there’s no reason why your tweens and teens need to sit out the Chicago Zine Fest, an event that focuses on the culture and passion behind zine-making. (For the uninitiated, a zine is traditionally considered to have a circulation of under 5,000, and come in any medium from print to comics to handwritten works.) This year’s free Zine Fest includes open-to-the-public workshops, plus the CZF Youth Reading: The Next Generation of Zinesters, where Chicago Public School students read original works. This popular event adds an extra layer of accessibility to a festival built on the idea that stories—like zines—are for everybody, and well worth sharing.
May 18-19; main exhibition at Plumbers Union Hall, 1340 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago